Lush Life

Book Digest Except for what I consider an unfortunate title choice (once having heard various versions—Nat Cole, Johnny Hartmann—of Billy Strayhorn’s masterpiece) that casts an odd shadow, this is Richard Price’s greatest novel. As a reader of his entire body of work, I didn’t think he could rise much higher than his last fine opus, Samaritan. I was wrong. This a grand piece of storytelling—as vivid and real as the greatest TV series ever, The Wire (with which on occasion, Price was involved). Price knows grit, cop speak, and ghetto vernacular, so if a trip to the mean streets is your pleasure, you cannot do better than this as a kind of new urban Baedeker.
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